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Q: What is the aim of the courses?
A: The aim of the courses is to allow performers to come and learn the principles of using firearms safely and competently in a theatrical setting.
Q: Who is allowed to come and train with Bare Arms?
A: As live firearms are inherently dangerous and therefore should only be handled by professionals, we only train professional performers including stunt performers and Spotlight actors. A full list of joining criteria can be found on our website.
Q: What do I need in order to book a course?
A: A DBS check no more than 24 months old that shows that you are not prohibited from handling firearms and proof that you meet the joining criteria.
Q: Won’t I receive firearms training on set?
A: Possibly, but not the same type of training as you would do with Bare Arms. Our courses are three days long, limited to 8 students and use live ammunition on real ranges. That level of dedicated training is usually not possible on set, and usually only available to lead actors. There may be bootcamps, or other low level training provided by a production, but this can depend on the size and budget of production and will be specific for the production.
Q: Do you train background extras?
A: Background extras will rarely require the high level of training that we offer and so we don’t offer training to supporting artists or background. There are other more appropriate courses aimed at firearms handling that extras may find more cost effective.
Q: Do you teach firearms tactics?
A: Tactics are dependent on the character that a performer would be portraying. There is no right or wrong tactic, as it is entirely dependant on situation and era. Specific tactics training tailored to a scenario is much more appropriate on set. We concentrate on firearms safety and competence, with the basic building blocks of how weapons are used. This provides a solid base which then puts a performer in the best possible place to learn the tactics at a later date.
Q: Do I have to do the course to use firearms on set?
A: No. The course is not a qualification nor a requirement within the industry at this stage, but we do not use any non-military personnel whose training we cannot verify ourselves. The course is recognised by various industry bodies including Spotlight.
Q: Will I get more work by doing a Bare Arms course?
A: We do not guarantee that anyone will receive more work by doing a course. That entirely depends on the performers look, performance ability etc. We do occasionally take performers from our courses on to set as part of a Bare Arms team, but we only take the best. A large number of our performers have found work elsewhere in the industry due to the training they have undertaken with us.
Q: Do you supply firearms trained extras to productions?
A: We are not an extras agency. We do however supply small highly trained teams of specialist firearms performers to top-level productions in order to fill niche roles, such as a SWAT team or a military/armed police units. These are a mix of highly competent military personnel and the top level of performers we have trained.
Q: What courses do you run?
A: We have the Level 1 Basic course, and the Level 2 Advanced course. Beyond that we run specialist workshops for particular productions, bespoke training for groups and one-on-one training.
Q: What is the waiting list for?
A: Places on the courses sell out very quickly, but we have a very flexible cancellations policy. Performers frequently pick up work, and so have to delay their place on a course. The waiting list is so that we can fill those places quickly to avoid the performer losing any money by being unable to attend.
Q: Why is the waiting list so long?
A: Professional performers are frequently asked to portray characters who are comfortable and well trained with firearms. Having a solid understanding of the principles surrounding their use is highly sought after in all areas of the industry, theatre and games including, and so our courses are in high demand.
Q: How often do you run courses?
A: We aim to run one course a month on average. We don’t run public courses in January and February due to the accommodation being closed for the winter.
Q: Why don’t you run more courses?
A: Our main role is on set advising to productions and so we run the courses in our spare time. We charge as little as possible as we feel that safe handling of firearms is something that should be available to all professional performers. We understand that actors have to decide very carefully where to invest their hard earned funds. If we were to hire external instructors to run more courses on our behalf then the cost would have to increase as a result.
Q: Why can’t I see more dates on the website?
A: We release the dates roughly 3 months in advance of the courses. This is to give everyone a fair chance to get a place.
Q: I already have some training, can I just do the L2 Advanced course?
A: Our policy is that everyone has to start with the first course. This is because there is a lot of information and skills learnt on the first course that is the basis for the second course. Also previous training can vary and may not be appropriate to start at the advanced course. We even have ex-military personnel who occasionally undertake the Basic course as a way of revising what they have previously learnt and adapting it to the theatrical industries.
Q: How much does the course fee, and what does our fee go towards?
A: The course costs £440 inc VAT for 3 days, with the optional extra of £110 for two nights accommodation and meals. Most of this cost goes towards renting the ranges, the classrooms, maintaining the weapons and purchasing ammunition and equipment, instructor fees and expenses. The entirety of the optional extra cost goes straight to the accommodation provider, Monkton Wyld Court.